~The Western Fort~ version 2.0
Posted on 04/19/07 @ 05:03 PM (updated 06/02/07
~THE WESTERN FORT~
||Role Playing Strategy
The Western Fort is a game that I have been working on for a few months now. The time period is not set in the midevil times as AoE II is usually set for. It is set in the time of when the American West was being settled by settlers who were looking for a chance to own land and not have to be crowded into the original thirteen colonies. However, as settlers poured in by the thousands, and the railroads were being constructed, the indians did not apprciate their land being invaded. They were pushed from their homeland into reservations that the Whites promised would be their's forever. However, a few months later, white people would want to settle that land, and the indians would be moved to another reservation, and on and on the process continued. The indian's most important food supply, the buffalo, were being whiped out by: trappers who wanted nothing but the furs, and settlers who would be handed Winchester rifles on trains and told to try and take a shot at the buffalo herds that would be right next to the tracks. The buffalo dropped from the millions to hundreds in literally months! Eventually, fights broke out between settlers and indian tribes. The United States government ordered the army to whipe out these rebellions. Eventually it turned into a literal war. Many great and famous battles happened.
Now, the indians have lost. The American army is now not as nervous as they once were. Thousands of troops are sent back home, and only small forts and militias are left.
~That was true history, now we get a little bit more fictional with only a little bit of truth included~
The last great indian tribes, the Apachi and Sioux, join their last forces together for the last "Battle of the Buldge". Ten Thousand warriors, many of which are young boys, and old men, and a few middle-aged men storm many forts and many homesteads and destroy them. They are all driven to do this by a crazy religion called the Ghost Dance, which made the indians believe that they were invincible, and could do practically anything.(The Ghost Dance it truth, not fiction) The indians now march upon a lead fort that is the cornerstone of all other permimeter forts. It is said to have much powder, repeating rifles, and supplies. Ten thousand indians march upon this fort garrisoned by about 250 men.
This was an overview for anyone that does not know much about American History, or at least the history of the "Wild West". The rest of the history this battle is included in the Scenario instructions.
~WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THIS GAME~
~My first RPG game ever.
~A small DAT file.
~Detailed fort and landscape.
~Enormous amouts of troops.
~Some interesting/scary suprises.
~And best of all, a Desparate battle between the forces of "good", and "evil"!
~Many thanks to The_Slayer 90 for playtesting, and making the DAT file.
~Many thanks to Sounddogs for the rifle sounds.
~Many thanks to MCrnigoj for the wizzing, and explosion sounds.
~General Cob DAT file changed from Jannisary to hand cannonier.
~Some extremely small changes done to the fort.
~Certain indian attack increased.
~Hints for people that are having trouble winning.
~Nice bitmap included.
~A few more hints and helpfull facts are inclued and the victory condition has been changed a bit.
~The terrain has been GREATLY improved!
~I beleave the DAT issue is fixed too. If it wasn't let me know and I will put the older one back up.
All people that have downloaded before and at 325, please re-download~
Now enjoy, ~THE WESTERN FORT~,
by ~Dantares IV~
The story continues in ~The Western Fort~ Epilogue
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
'The Western Fort' is a fixed force/RPS style game which is situated in a more modern time than what Aok usually represents. It shows an army of Red Indians attacking a fort.
The player starts out by controlling only 1 jannissary for the first 5-6 min. Then you have to retreat a bit and then get 4 more jannissaries and a bunch of sabremen (samurai). Most of the fighting is done by the ally, the reason being probably to show the battle from the point of view of an individual soldier rather than controlling all the troops.
I enjoyed the game, to some extent. I did not experience the above mentioned bugs, they are probably due to incorrect placing of data file. However I got quite bored of controlling only 1 guy for such a long time and when you get some more troops, the bunch of swordsmen die pretty quick, unless you stick them at chokepoints- but then they still die quickly because they have less attack (new version) The rifle sound, though realistic, was a bit harsh on the ears later on. There was also a little lag in the beginning. The victory bug has been fixed.
Being too easy in the earlier version, and too difficult in the next, the final version is almost perfectly balanced. I died quite a few times but was able to win without reading the hints and had 4 soldiers left in the end. Overall I found it a bit easy, but that was probably because I'd played it many times earlier.
The units are somewhat unbalanced, the riflemen can kill off any enemy in a single shot (which is realistic, but then the time to reload is not). The game now depends more on the player, but still not much. I found that it didn't much matter where the sabremen were stationed, they still died quickly due to lesser attack in the new version. In fact quite often they are dead before you can take control of them.
The theme of this game was quite original (although , the type , defend the spot is quite common) this is the second scenario I have seen which represents the American wild west. (the other was Jas the Mace's 'Omar' ) However the unit representation did not give a feeling that it was US army against native Americans. The riflemen are represented entirely by jannissaries, which looks a bit plain. Also, the watch towers could have been replaced by bombard towers (since they were named 'gun towers' and the game does have them after all) General Cobb has been represented as a handcannoneer which makes him stand out now.
The 'indians' are represented by Jaguar warriors, plumed archers, eagle warriors. IMO this is not a good representation and could have been more varied. You could have used archers (more ranged units), woad raiders, throwing axemen ( tomahawks ?)
However the battle sequence (firing cannons , dynamites etc.) was good and realistic.
Map Design: 4+
The map design was quite good, and suited to the scenario. The desert is supposed to look hard and dry, and the author represents it well by dirt terrain and cliffs. Just the right amount of eyecandy (cactus , rocks) are also present which both look good and do not hinder gameplay. The buildings and watch towers also serve as appropriate chokepoints during the attack. The map design is better than previously.
One real shortcoming is that it shows only a quarter of the 'fort'. Consequently you do not have to defend it from all sides, making the game unrealistic as in a real battle troops never attack only from one side. Another minus point is that the fort has no gate (unrealistic).
The instructions and hints given are quite sufficient, though it would be an improvement to have a better scenario bitmap ( right now all there is is a caption )
The story was good, there was a large history section. There were a few things I found peculiar. One is the conquest victory. In actual battle, armies (especially attackers) almost never fight to their death. Another was that the 'fort' did not exist beyond the black edges of the map and thus the reinforcements were able to pop up RIGHT INSIDE the fort! That is absurd because what generally happens in seiges etc. is that the attackers surround the for from all sides and the reinforcements have to fight their way in through the gates.
This game is a short game in an unusual setting. I would recommend downloading it.
[Edited on 08/03/07 @ 11:34 AM]
I finally managed to play through The Western Fort. I had to fix the .dat files myself, but that’s a minor problem. I though think it should be in the ReadMe or something, so the downloader knows he/she has to do it. If not it will create confusion which is, obviously, not good. Here is my review of the game.
I really liked this game. It is unusual to use more modern ages in scenarios made with Age of Kings, and those who exist are mostly funny. This one is no exception. The Western Fort is a very funny scenario and it requires a few reloads to win, defending on how quick you are, especially since you have to play on the Hard difficulty. The idea of the game is simple. You have one unit in a great battle and you must help your allies to kill off as many Indians as possible. The wall you have is very weak and falls quickly and you have to withdraw to the upper part of the fort. Here it’s relatively safe to be, but the Indians slowly break down your front soldiers and push you back until you’re in the last open space of your camp, shooting down everything that comes in your way and clearing as much of the mess of Indians in front of you. I had to reload many times, and a few times it became frustrating, although I got closer to victory with every reload. When I got control of the other soldiers, about our or five gunmen, I used them to effectively kill off the strongest Indians. It worked for a while, but the Indians soon broke my chain of defenders and I had to pull back to the very top of the map. There is but one thing that prevents me from giving a full 5 here – lag. I used marco polo once to see how many soldiers the Indians actually had, but I restarted the game afterwards to prevent lag. The game still lagged a lot, and it was frustrating. The gunshot soundeffect can also be very frustrating as it pounds into the ears of the player.
I found this scenario very hard, too hard for my taste. The beginning was relatively easy, since I didnt get damaged, but the indians overwhelmed the base and my allies fared badly. After pulling back I managed to hold for a while, but I never managed to win. Either my own unit or Cob died, and I had to reload lots of times, frustratingly many times.
Also since there's but one difficulty, there are no options for newer players that aren't used to the game yet. Different difficulty levels, maybe to be chosen when you enter the game by clicking pavilions, or something like it, and then having triggers removing enemy units depending on which difficulty you choose, would be good for this scenario. This way the enemy still thinks as on the Hard difficulty, but you can still choose to have it easy or hard.
The level that is included fits well for hardcore players, but is very hard to win for others.
As with all defend the spot scenarios, creativity automatically starts on a minus, since these scenarios are so common. This scenario however uses a not so often used theme, a more modern game play with gunmen and Indians fighting. Your forces retreat whenever it’s necessary and there are a few ways to hold the line against the Indians. The only bad thing is that you can’t control your allies and not use the strategy you want. But that alone is also creative. I have never before seen a scenario that features a single soldier in a great battle, apart from one of my own scenarios. Mostly, defend the spot scenarios are B&D style of maps. This is an RPS-mixed Fixed Force scenario, not very common, especially for DTS maps. There’s also a command to use to make your general retreat back to be protected. For a conclusion, this map is very creative, apart from the fact that the overall theme, DTS, is very common. A strong 4.
MAP DESIGN: 4
The map design is realistic and it’s open to give a good battling space. The fort is open and the underlying design is made of dirt and desert, giving a good and realistic look of the scenario, reminding me of the Wild West. There’s a little elevation and cliffs to give a good look, although the cliffs look odd in a few placed. Since the map is realistic and not cluttered with details and stuff, it uses a different ‘style’ than many other maps, where more eye candy means a better map. Here it’s the other way around. All that’s needed to make a good desert map is mixed terrain and elevations. There's also a quite good ammount of cactuses, even if it would look better with a few more of them right outside the fort.
So for a conclusion, it’s a good and realistic map, better than a random map, but it’s still not superb. I give it a 4
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4
The theme is unusual and funny overall. The story is a history based story with some parts made fictious. It’s fun to read the instructions, although the story is quite shallow. There’s nothing, or very little, to present the people here in depth. You get to know who the general is, but not much more. The unit you control is called ‘You’ and the authour says that you can take it as you’re in the battle yourself. That’s also unusual, and it’s a funny idea. The bitmap included is simply the name of the scenario, and even though better than nothing, some kind of picture from the Wild West would've looked even better and spiced this up more. This is nothing I bring down scores for, it's just my opinion, since bitmaps only are for bonus.
The instructions exist in lots and they’re useful. For score I give a 4. The story isn’t exceptional an it’s shallow, but its funny and has many creative aspects. The sound effects are good too, even if the gunshots get very frustrating some times.
+ Creative and original
+ Realistic map design
+ good sound effects
- Extremly hard (for me at least)
- Confusion with the .dat file
OVERALL: A fun map for hardcore players and others
IN CONCLUSION: It has it’s flaws, but it’s an original and rather funny game to play. For those with modems or utterly slow connections, it’s worth the time it takes to download. It could need difficulty levels of some sort though.
[Edited on 07/31/07 @ 08:25 AM]